Corporate Social Responsibility

Setting the standards for CSR and philanthropy

“In the Middle East and Africa, Sheikh Al-Amoudi is setting the standard for philanthropic giving” (Forbes, 2013)

Inanition to the strict instruction he has given to each of his companies to discharge responsibilities in community development and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Sheikh Mohammed’s extreme dedication to philanthropy is neither a mere charity nor a “giving as usual” trust, rather it is of a very unique nature that emanated from his sense of humanism and sincerity in helping needy people.

This is something acceptable not only locally in countries where his conglomerates operate but also across the globe. The well-known American business magazine Forbes in 2013 confirmed: “In the Middle East and Africa, Sheikh Al Amoudi is setting the standard for philanthropic giving.” Sheikh Mohammed supports people in all walks of life including ordinary citizens, students, athletes, artists and sport clubs and educational institutions, humanitarian and social groups. He has helped many to change their lives for the better, to disentangle themselves from poverty and hardship and to find remedy for severe health problems including cancer.

“I have been fortunate in my business career and I believe in giving back to the community.” Sheikh Mohammed once emphasized his strong conviction in a “Forbes” exclusive interview.

“I believe in giving back to the community.” Sheikh Mohammed H. Ali Al-Amoudi (Forbes, 2013)

CSR Activities of MIDROC Ethiopia Group Companies

For more information on the Group CSR activities, see the following special issues of TIRET Corporate Magazine

1. Supporting Heath Care

Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi is a major philanthropist who has committed significant funds in support of  healthcare in Saudi Arabia, Africa, Europe and the US:

  • In Saudi Arabia, he has endowed the Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi Center for Breast Cancer at King Abdulaziz University (KAU). He has also funded Biomedical Practice Ethics, Diabetic Food Research, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever and Water Networks Research.
  • In Saudi Arabia, he has endowed the Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi Center for Breast Cancer at King Abdulaziz University (KAU). He has also funded Biomedical Practice Ethics, Diabetic Food Research, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever and Water Networks Research.
  • He has provided over 50 million birr in the construction effort  of  the  first  Ethiopian  Cardiac  Center  which was inaugurated on February 12, 2009 in Addis Ababa. In addition to the fund he provided for the construction Sheikh Mohammed has covered the running costs of the cardiac center which mainly focuses on assisting children with various heart problems.
  • He has supported local Ethiopian programmes for the visually impaired,  the  disabled,  children’s   health   and   poverty alleviation as well as providing funds for overseas scholarships. For instance, Ali Redi, who was a well-known Ethiopian national team goal Keeper and currently serving as a coach, as one of the several fortunate people that received generous   help    from  Sheikh   Mohammed   once   said: “Al-Amoudi gave me a future when I didn’t have one.”
  • One of the issues of greatest concern to Sheikh Mohammed Al- Amoudi has been AIDS which has affected North East Africa as much as it has been a scourge in the rest of the Continent and a threat to nearby regions. He committed over $20m to AIDS awareness and treatment between 2007 and 2011, part of it in partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation.
  • Demissie Damte, a veteran and famous sports journalist, had also been attending medical treatment for three years in Ethiopia and abroad. He had received treatment in Bangkok in connection with the illness of his eyes due to diabetes, and received another kidney treatment in India with Sheikh Mohammed’s support.
  •  The other sportsman who received Sheikh Mohammed’s assistance for his treatment was Mengistu Worku. He had been in Bangkok for two years undergoing medical treatment. Mengistu is one of the top ten highest goal scorers  in  the  history  of  the  African  Cup  of  Nations registering 10 goals. He is recognized as the best Ethiopian footballer in history and was a member of the Ethiopian football team that won the 3rd African Cup,
  • The  veteran Ethiopian Television journalist, Orromiffa Section, Samuel Daba, and sports journalist of the same media, Alemu Mekonnen were also some of the many beneficiaries of Sheikh Mohammed’s support in health care.
2. Promoting Arts and Science
  • Shekh Mohammed also spends significant amount of money in  promoting  the  arts  and  science.  Apart  from  making donations for medication and health care, he is famous for supporting young and veteran artists both in financial terms and provision of necessary equipment like musical instruments.
  • Individual artists, musicians, authors and institutions working for cultural promotion including the Addis Ababa University Music School received charitable assistance from Sheikh Mohammed. Vocalist Tilahun Gessese, Minilik Wosenachew,   Merawi   Sitotaw,   Saxophonist  Getachew Mekuria, Musician Yared Teferra, author and Journalist Paulos Gnogno and many others can be mentioned among the popular artists and authors supported by him to encourage them in their works of arts.

“… My life was going to be cut short. He came and saved me. I am able to sit, eat, talk and walk, all because of him. I wish him and his family plenty of healthy years.” The Ethiopian  musical king, Tilahun Gessese, once said this because every time he  fell ill, Sheik Mohammed was always there for him.

  • In 1998, Sheikh Mohammed also helped the now world-class pianist Girma Yifrashewa to participate in “Opera Aria Concert” in Addis where he staged classical piano music along with foreign artists and consequently became famous not only in Ethiopia but also abroad.
3. Establishing Institutions
  • He provided over 50 million birr for the construction of the First Ethiopian Cardiac Center in the premises of the Tikur Anbesa Hospital  in Addis Ababa once said. Sheikh Mohammed’s open handedness is not only limited in supporting individuals and institutions, rather it goes to the extent of assisting the country to establish rare social, medical and scientific facilities.
  • In an effort to advance science and technology in Ethiopia, he made outstanding contribution amounting to over 90 million birr for the realization of the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) research and training projects.

“Sheik Mohammed has paid for 40 million families of my ‘One Dollar for One Heart’ project. He has made me proud of my people and allowed me to see my dream come true before I die. It has been 28 years in the making and 25 years since my travails  began and Sheik Mohammed has made it a reality,” Dr. Belay Abegaz, Founder of the Ethiopian Cardiac Center

  • Owing to Sheikh Mohammed’s contribution, construction of the Entoto Observatory and Research Center as well as the installation of two telescopes, each with one-meter diameter lenses, with high-tech telecommunications, has been completed and readied  for the next generation.
  • Sheikh Mohammed provided financial assistance for the construction and establishment of the National Coffee Museum in Bonga town, Southern, Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State. As a result, with the decision of the National Coffee Museum Committee, a commemorative plaque was unveiled on May 18, 2013 in the compound of the museum in honouring the business tycoon for his financial contribution in realizing the project. It is expected to play a vital role in the promotion of the Ethiopian organic coffee and coffee tourism in that town.
  • He is also fully supporting the ongoing expansion and construction of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES) Library at the main campus of the Addis Ababa University with a drive of making it a national center of excellence for future  studies  on  all  cultural  values  and  history  of  the Ethiopian people.
  • Sheik Mohammed has never forgotten to assist the two schools he attended classes in his childhood days in Woldiya and Desse towns. The Etege Taitu Bitul Elementary School in Woldiya is renovated by Sheikh Mohammed. “The building was falling apart and the fields were left to cattle grazing. Now, you see the buildings renovated and a large concrete wall surrounding the school. This has been all possible because of the huge generosity of Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi”, the school director Mr. Mamo Alemayehu said. He also did the same for Weizero Sehin Secondary School in Dessie and financed the building of Selam School in Woldiya town.
  • Through his companies, as a part of their corporate social responsibilities, the business man has constructed many primary and secondary schools across Ethiopia and handed them over to communities equipping them with the necessary materials, laboratories and teaching aids.
4. Supporting Global Education
  • Sheikh Mohammed extends significant contributions to assist in the promotion of education and research at the global level. He provided financial donations to the Clinton Foundation to undertake research activities on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention and to the Gates Foundation in relation to food security and agricultural development efforts.
  • Moreover, he supported universities in Saudi Arabia, including King Abdulaziz University, King Saud University, King Fahd University and King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST). The donations were meant to promote education in relation to healthcare issues through university endowments such as the cancer research center at KAUST devoted primarily to breast cancer.
5. Educating the young

Many world class minds have been created due to Sheikh Mohammed’s generous donations. This is because he highly values the role of education. A former Sheraton Addis employee, for example, once witnessed: “One day Sheikh Mohammed came to our office and as my boss, the General Manager of Sheraton Addis, was out of the country I tried to open his office for him for a telephone call. But Sheikh Mohammed refused and said, ‘No problem, let me sit here with you and make my call’. I gave him the phone.”  “Meanwhile, he asked me about my health and that of my children. I told him that I have only one child and everything I did was to educate her. He glanced at me and said, ‘From now on, don’t worry about her. I will pay for her education’. At that moment, I felt like God had just descended from heaven into my life because I was so desperate at that time.”

“Then after, I myself was able to travel with her to the US all expenses paid by Sheikh Mohammed and enrolled her at the George Mason University in Virginia. Consequently, she graduated in Biology with distinction from that university and then joined the Howard University Medical School, in Washington D.C. for further education. In short, this means he educated a doctor for Ethiopia,” She said.  And Sheik Mohammed never forgets to request and encourage all those he sends abroad for education to come back and serve their mother land at the end of the day.  He has been doing it upto now and will do it in the future.

6. Supporting destitute elderly and the disabled

In April 2016, Sheikh Mohammed through his companies donated 16 million Birr to the popular Macedonians Humanitarian Association (MHA), a nonprofit organization which is a safe and loving home for the Elderly and mentally disabled compatriots in Addis Ababa.

At the occasion, founder of the organization, Ato Biniam Belete, indicated that though it was not disclosed Sheikh Mohammed and his companies had also provided their support to the organization both financially and in kind earlier like the Ambulances donated through MOHA Soft Drinks Industry S.C.

7. Assisting women and Children

In March 2007, a heartbreaking story of a 21-years old young woman, Kamilat Mehdi, suddenly came into the public sphere by media outlets and shocked all Ethiopians. This was because of the acid attack against Kamilat that changed all her hopes and vision into sorrow and grief, and of course which horrified the Ethiopian people who are proud of their culture of humanity and civility.

As the sulphuric acid disfigured Kamilat beyond recognition hurting  her  eyes,  nose,  mouth,  forehead  and chest and burning her flesh wherever it touched, everybody was in fear that she had no any future and may not recover.  Besides, if her family wanted her to be treated, it was impossible to do it in Ethiopia and otherwise millions of dollars were required to take her abroad and give her treatment a try.

This was a big and an urgent issue for her family and the people.  However, as the news reached Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi, he decided to cover  all  her  medical  expenses  and  to  take  care of  her treatment abroad.  Then Kamilat with one of her sisters was sent to a hospital in Paris, France, amid reports her life would have been in danger.

Then, all the public dismay changed into optimism and hope and ultimately Sheikh Mohammed’s assistance led to Kamilat’s Wedding with her beloved one in Paris in October 2013.

Sheikh Mohammed made astonishing support for women like Sofanit Debalke and her daughter whom he rescued from the danger of breast cancer.

“As we all know the name itself is very scary. After that fact, I never knew there was a chance for a life. I cried a lot. I had children and I was very sad to realize that I could not remain a mother to them. Sheik Mohammed, my gratitude is so great that I can’t thank you enough. May you and your children live long and happy! May God bless you,” Sofanit expressed her thanks to Sheikh Mohammed after curing from the cancer.

Sheikh Mohammed Ali Al Amoudi, has supported a school feeding program carried out by a local association – Ye Enat Weg Charitable Association – based in Addis Ababa. This was announced on June 13, 2016, during a recognition program  held  here  at  the  Premier’s  office  where Sheikh Mohammed attended the event and receive recognition for supporting the school feeding program covering the cost of two meals (breakfasts and lunches) for 10,000 students per day.

After receiving recognition from First Lady Roman Tesfaye, Founder and Patron of the Association, Sheikh Mohammed said that supporting destitute young children is necessary.

Women professional associations like the Women Writers Club and the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association have also been funded by Sheikh Mohammed.

8. Backing Sports in Ethiopia
  • He sponsored $1.5 million for the Eastern and Central African Football Association (CECAFA) Cup held from 2004 to 2007 and the tournament was renamed in his honor as Al Amoudi Senior Challenge Cup from 2004 to 2006. He sponsored the confederation for three consecutive years to effectively hold the tournaments
  • “Al-Amoudi Senior Challenge Cup Tournament” with the aim not only to promote football but also to promote friendship among the participating Eastern and Central Africa countries through their respective teams.

“I have strong interests in supporting sport, primarily football, and also in developing cultural relationships within national communities and  their  Diasporas,  with  special reference to Ethiopia,” Sheikh Mohammed once told Forbes.

  • He helped the team to take part in 2013 African cup and envision the 2014 World Cup tournament. He contributed Birr 3 million for the successful accomplishment made by the Ethiopian Football Federation in all Ethiopian National Games in 2012. Sheikh Mohammed also provided the team with 5 million birr to help the team qualify for 2013 African Cup.
  • Similarly, he awarded the female national football team with equal amount when they were qualified for 2013 Africa cup in Equatorial Guinea. Sheikh Mohammed has also extended his support to help various sport activities in the country other than the national and international ones.
  • For instance, through one of his companies, MOHA Soft Drinks Industry S.C, he Sponsors the annual cross-country event of the Addis Ababa Administration to stimulate and prepare Ethiopian Athlets for international events.
  • In 2012 he made a six-million Birr contribution to the tournament of the All Ethiopia National Games held at the national level.
A. Sheikh Mohammed sent his private jet to Helsinki

Sheikh Mohammed has always provided financial and moral support to the Ethiopian team to participate at the Olympic Games.

For example, he covered all the expenses of the team to travel and participate in Atlanta Olympic in 1996 on the 26th Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

Again, he covered all the expenses of the Ethiopian athletics team to travel to Helsinki, Finland to take part in the 10th International Athletics Championship in 2005. He also sent his private jet to fly the team back home.

B. Hiring coaches for the national team

Sheikh Mohammed has practically shown tangible and keen interest for Ethiopian football development through hiring international coaches covering all expenses for the national team.

Sheik Mohammed is the patron of the St. George club and has made noteworthy contributions to strengthen the club and help its legacy to continue. 

C. Supporting construction of National Stadiums

The construction cost of the the Woldiya Stadium named after Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi in Woldiya town, is fully covered by him.

The Sheikh has made very effective involvements in the construction of the Bahir Dar, Mekelle and Hawassa Stadiums directly  and  through  his  companies like Derba MIDROC Cement and MIDROC Construction Ethiopia plc. He has also donated 18.6 million birr for Nekemt Stadium construction.